Lyn Paul continues her highly acclaimed performances in the West End production of Blood Brothers. Lyn had been due to finish on 28th February but extends her run by four weeks to 27th March and then by a further fortnight to 10th April.
Meanwhile, in the USA, the New York production of Taboo closes on 9th February. The 2002 London production of Taboo had been successful with Lyn Paul as a member of the cast but the re-written and re-cast production in New York fails to impress the critics or to attract audiences [click here to read the reviews].
On 24th February model-turned-actress Jerry Hall joins the cast of Blood Brothers as part of a publicity stunt to promote London theatre. She plays the part of the woman at the window, who tells Mickey that "Eddie doesn't live here now." Having already dropped in on performances of Phantom Of The Opera, Les Misérables and Fame, she continues her whistle-stop tour of the West End by making further fleeting appearances in Anything Goes and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. "Quite a night!" as Lyn Paul put it.
a poster of Lyn Paul
on display outside the Phoenix Theatre.
On 8th March Lyn Paul records an appearance on a special 'Eurovision' edition of the BBC's popular quiz show The Weakest Link. The show is broadcast on 15th May and is hosted, as usual, by the formidable Anne Robinson. The other guests are: Sonia, (Britain's Eurovision entry in 1993); James Fox (2004); Nicki French (2000); Katie Boyle (four times a presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest); Bobby G from Bucks Fizz (the Eurovision winners in 1981); Jessica Garlick (3rd in 2002); Katrina (the Eurovision winner of 1997) and Jemini (the "nul points" of 2003). Lyn is the second to introduce herself: "I'm Lyn Paul. I came second in 1972 with the New Seekers, singing 'Beg, Steal Or Borrow'." The show ends with Nicki French the winner and Katrina in second place. Lyn escapes after the fourth round, voted out by Jessica Garlick even though she wasn't the weakest link.
Lyn returns to Blood Brothers on 1st June for a seven week run. She finishes on 17th July, then takes her Summer break, which includes a trip to Spain with husband Alan and son Ryan. The family return on 31st August, six days before Lyn steps back on stage at The Phoenix.
Before embarking on her Summer break, Lyn Paul takes part in a workshop production of a new musical by Yusuf Islam, better known in the '60s and '70s as Cat Stevens. Partly biographical, the musical is titled after Cat Stevens' 1971 hit Moonshadow. Others taking part in the production include: Paul Keating (whose West End credits include the title role in Tommy, Straight Dave in the Pet Shop Boys' musical Closer To Heaven and Ethan in The Full Monty); Ramin Karimloo (Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera and Enjolras in Les Misérables); Jerome Pradon (Judas in the 2000 video production of Jesus Christ Superstar); and Matthew White. The workshop rehearsals last for two weeks, with the actors all working from 10am to 6pm each day.
On 2nd September the songwriter Billy Davis dies, aged 72. Having helped to write I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, and the Coke commercial from which it was derived, Davis had been partially responsible for giving the New Seekers their signature tune. The following week Lyn Paul pays tribute to him in an interview for the NPR radio network in the USA: "I can only thank Billy Davis for everything he gave to us," she says "It created a whole new world for us." Lyn recalls her surprise when the song became such a huge hit: "We were absolutely amazed at the popularity it had ... We never in a million years thought it would be the hit it was." (NPR: Remembering Billy Davis, Coca-Cola Hit Pitchman, news report and interview by Robert Siegel).
On 12th October a double-disc DVD and CD, 40 Jaar Top 40 1973-1974, is released in the Netherlands. The DVD and CD feature 20 hit singles from 1973 and 1974, including a video made by the New Seekers to promote the single Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me.
In February Pop Idols Sam and Mark have a number 1 hit with a cover version of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends. The song had been a chart-topper for Joe Cocker in 1968 and for Wet Wet Wet in 1988. Lyn Paul recorded the song with the New Seekers as part of a Friends Medley, a track on the group's 1974 album Together.
On 8th November the hit West End musical The Rat Pack: Live From Las Vagas is released on DVD (Lace International LACE 299), featuring Lyn Paul's sister Nikki Belsher as one of the Berelli Sisters. The DVD is also released as a special edition box set, containing a 32 page booklet and an 8 track CD (LACE 310).
|In the News - 2004
The 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret, based on the 1993 Sam Mendes Donmar Warehouse production, closes on 4th January after 2,377 performances - a longer run than both the original 1966 production, which ran for 1,165 performances and the 1987 revival, which ran for 261 performances.
Singer-songwriter Randy VanWarmer, best-known for his 1979 hit Just When I Needed You Most, dies on 11th January, aged 50.
On 12th January the Queen Mary II, the largest cruise liner ever built, sets sail from Southampton on its maiden voyage, bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Harold Shipman, Britain's most prolific serial murderer, hangs himself in Wakefield prison.
Fanny Blankers-Koen, winner of four gold medals at the 1948 Olympics, dies in Amsterdam on 25th January.
The Hutton Report, which investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr. David Kelly, is published on 27th January. The report is critical of the BBC and leads to the resignation of the BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies and to the sacking of the Director-General Greg Dyke.
On 2nd February Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, announces a plan to evacuate all 17 Jewish settlements in the Gaza strip.
Mark Zuckerberg, a student at Harvard, launches the social networking website Facebook on Wednesday, 4th February.
39 people are killed by a suicide bomb attack on the Moscow metro.
20 Chinese immigrants gathering cockles are killed by fast rising tides in Morecambe bay.
On 9th February Diana Ross is sentenced to two days in a Los Angeles prison for driving on the wrong side of the road while drunk.
Tower Records, one of the best-known US music retailers, files for bankruptcy on 10th February.
On 14th February the glass and concrete roof of the Transvaal aqua park in Moscow collapses, killing at least 26 people and injuring more than 100 others.
Doris Troy, best-known for her songs Just One Look (a UK hit for the Hollies) and Watcha Gonna Do About It (an Australian hit for Peter Doyle), dies in Las Vegas on 16th February.
Les Gray, lead singer with Mud, dies from a heart attack on 21st February, aged 57. Although diagnosed with throat cancer, Gray had been due to make his final appearance with Les McKeown and Alvin Stardust at a Blast From The Past charity concert in Glasgow on 28th February.
Former Cabinet Minister Clare Short claims in a radio interview on 26th February that, prior to the war in Iraq, the British security services had spied on the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan.
On 29th February, amid mounting unrest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns from office and flees Haiti.
Hundreds of Shia Moslems attending the Ashoura ceremonies in Karbala and Baghdad are massacred and maimed in mortar and suicide bomb attacks on 2nd March.
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts wins the "Super Tuesday" elections to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for US President.
Five British Muslims who had been held captive for two years at Guantanamo Bay return to the UK on 9th March.
Bryan McFadden announces that he is leaving Westlife.
On Thursday, 11th March 191 people are killed in Madrid when ten bombs planted on four commuter trains explode during the morning rush-hour. The following day millions of people march through the cities of Spain in protest at the terrorist atrocity.
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero becomes the new Prime Minister of Spain following the surprise victory of the Socialist Workers' Party in the general elections on 14th March.
On the same day Luciano Pavarotti performs in a staged opera for the last time, bidding adieu in an emotional performance of Puccini's Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Vladimir Putin is re-elected President of Russia.
On 22nd March Israeli armed forces assassinate Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of the Islamic Palestinian group Hamas, as he returns home from morning prayers in Gaza City.
The actor, playwright and film director Peter Ustinov dies on 28th March, aged 82.
The singer Timi Yuro, best known for her 1961 hit Hurt, dies on 30th March, aged 63.
On 1st April, having previously denied knowledge of immigration scams in Bulgaria and Romania, Beverley Hughes admits to making misleading statements and resigns from her post as the UK's Immigration Minister.
It is announced on 2nd April that Michael Grade will be the new Chairman of the BBC.
Following extensive media coverage, Rebecca Loos appears on Sky One on 15th April to talk about her alleged affair with the England football captain David Beckham. Victoria Beckham comments: "I will not let that tart ruin my marriage."
Mordechai Vanunu is released from prison on 21st April, having completed an 18-year sentence for revealing, in 1986, that Israel had nuclear weapons.
Estée Lauder, who created the cosmetics company named after her, dies at her home in Manhattan, aged 97.
Ten more countries join the European Union on 1st May: Cyprus and Malta; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Following allegations that US troops in Iraq had mistreated prisoners at the Abu Gharib prison, President George Bush appears on two Arabic-language television channels on 5th May to promise that the USA would "clean up its act." Speaking on French television on 9th May, Tony Blair says: "We apologise deeply to anyone who has been mistreated by any of our soldiers."
An American telecommunications engineer, Nick Berg, is executed by five masked men in revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. His decapitated body is discovered on an overpass close to a highway in Baghdad on 8th May. A video of his execution is posted on a website three days later.
On 5th May Pablo Picasso's Garçon à la Pipe is sold at Sotheby's in New York for $93,000,000.
Piers Morgan resigns as Editor of the Daily Mirror on 14th May, following the publication of fake photos purporting to show the abuse of an Iraqi prisoner by British troops.
On 15th May Ruslana wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine with the song Wild Dances. The UK entry, Hold On To Our Love by James Fox, finishes in 16th place.
On 19th May four Fathers 4 Justice protesters hurl missiles from the public gallery in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is hit by purple flour.
On 22nd May, more than a week after the Congress Party and its allies had won a surprise victory in the national elections, Dr. Manmohan Singh is sworn in as India's first Sikh Prime Minister.
Four people are killed on 23rd May when a roof collapses at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris.
The Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is arrested at his home in west London at 3.00am on 27th May, following a US request for him to be extradited.
On 29th May terrorists attack oil company offices and take hostages in the Oasis residential compound in Khobar. Saudi Arabian commandos rescue most of the hostages but 22 civilians die in the attack.
Former US President Ronald Regan dies at his home in California on 5th June, aged 93.
On 6th June veterans of World War 2 gather on the Normandy coast to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The ceremonies are attended by 17 heads of state and government, including Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair, George Bush, Jacques Chirac and, for the first time at a D-Day ceremony, the German leader Gerhard Schröder,
On 8th June the United Nations' Security Council gives its unanimous backing to Resolution 1546, endorsing "the formation of a sovereign Interim Government of Iraq."
Ray Charles, best-known for his hits Georgia On My Mind, I Can't Stop Loving You and Take These Chains From My Heart, dies on 10th June, aged 73.
Already a success in America, the Apple iTunes online music store is launched in London on 15th June by the Apple Chief Executive, Steve Jobs.
Following the beheading of Paul Johnson, an American taken hostage in Saudi Arabia by the Fallujah Brigade of al-Qa'ida, Saudi security forces kill the group's leader, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin.
Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn is suspended from his radio show on Classic Gold Digital on 23rd June for playing Cliff Richard records.
The hand-over of power from the US-led allies to the new Iraqi government takes place two days ahead of schedule on 28th June.
Marlon Brando, who won two Academy Awards for his roles in On The Waterfront and The Godfather, dies on 1st July, aged 80.
On 6th July Queen Elizabeth II officially opens a memorial fountain in Hyde Park to Diana, Princess of Wales.
The New Seekers' Manager, Hal Carter, dies of liver cancer on 13th July, aged 69.
On Saturday, 17th July Linda Ronstadt is hustled off stage at the Aladdin Theater, Las Vagas, after dedicating the last song of her show to Fahrenheit 9/11 film-maker Michael Moore.
Following the publication in the USA of a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was critical of the intelligence provided by the CIA in the lead-up to the war with Iraq, a report by Lord Butler is published in the UK, which is equally critical of British intelligence. In the Commons debate on the Butler Report on 20th July, Tony Blair urges MPs to "rejoice" at the liberation of Iraq, despite the intelligence failings.
The 9/11 Commission Report is published on 22nd July. It concludes that the attacks on the USA on 11th September 2001 were "a shock, not a surprise" and says that they might have been prevented had warnings been heeded that al-Qa'ida was planning a "spectacular" attack on American soil.
French singer Sacha Distel, best-known in Britain for his 1970 hit Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, dies on 22nd July, aged 71.
Peter Mandelson is appointed as the UK's European Commissioner on 23rd July.
The fêted French news photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson dies on 2nd August, aged 95.
On 4th August thousands of people join hands in a human chain around Gibraltar to celebrate 300 years of British rule.
On 11th August British scientists at the University of Newcastle are given the go-ahead to clone human embryos by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Hurricane Charley hits Florida on Friday, 13th August, leaving a trail of destruction stretching from Punta Gorda on the Gulf Coast to Daytona Beach on the Atlantic.
Laura Branigan, best-known for her 1980s hits Gloria and Self Control, dies in East Quogue, New York on 26th August, aged 47.
Mark Thatcher, son of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is arrested at his home in Cape Town on 25th August. He is charged over his alleged involvement in a plot to topple the government of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.
Carl Wayne, formerly the lead singer of the Move and at one time the Narrator in Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, dies on 31st August, aged 61.
||On 1st September Chechen terrorists take 1,181 teachers, pupils and their parents hostage at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia. After three days Russian armed forces storm the school, leading to the loss of more than 335 lives.
On 5th September Hurricane Frances hits the Atlantic coast of Florida, causing floods and power cuts. A few days later Hurricane Ivan devastates the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, moving on to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba, before hitting the Alabama coast and the Florida panhandle.
Lyricist Fred Ebb, who had co-written twelve Broadway musicals including Cabaret, Chicago and Kiss Of The Spider Woman, dies of a heart attack at his home in New York on 11th September.
On 13th September Jason Hatch, a Fathers 4 Justice campaigner dressed as Batman, evades armed guards and scales the walls of Buckingham Palace. Police put an end to his protest after five and a half hours, using a crane to remove him from a ledge by the Royal balcony.
A Parliamentary debate on hunting with hounds is disrupted on 15th September when five protesters storm into the House of Commons debating chamber. MPs later vote to ban hunting by 356 votes to 166.
Brian Clough, the charismatic manager behind the 1970s success of Derby County and Nottingham Forest football clubs, dies on 20th September from stomach cancer, aged 69.
Yusuf Islam is deported from the USA.
After three hurricanes, the Caribbean is hit by a fourth. As Hurricane Jeanne heads for Florida, the death toll in Haiti rises to over 1,500.
The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has an operation on 1st October to correct an irregular heartbeat.
A report by the Iraq Survey Group is published on 6th October. It concludes that Saddam Hussein did not have any illicit weapons of mass destruction.
A Canadian seaman, Lieutenant Chris Saunders, dies from smoke inhalation after a fire breaks out aboard HMCS Chicoutimi, a submarine purchased from the British Ministry of Defence.
At least 29 Israeli tourists are killed on 7th October when bombs explode at the Red Sea resorts of Nuweiba and Taba.
Kenneth Bigley, a Briton held hostage in Iraq for 23 days, is decapitated by his kidnappers. Two Americans, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, who were abducted with him on 16th September, had been beheaded within five days of their capture.
Christopher Reeve, the star of the Superman films, dies from heart failure on 10th October, aged 52.
The charity Care International suspends its aid work in Iraq after the kidnapping on 19th October of its director Margaret Hassan.
DJ John Peel dies of a heat attack on 26th October, aged 65, while on a working holiday in Peru.
George Bush wins the US Presidential election held on 2nd November.
On 5th November a candlelight vigil is held in central London in memory of David Morley, who was murdered in a homophobic attack on the South Bank on 30th October.
Seven people die as a result of a high-speed train crash near Ufton Nervet in Berkshire on 6th November. The victims include the train driver and the driver of a car parked on a level-crossing.
Howard Keel, star of MGM musicals and Dallas, dies on 7th November, aged 85.
At 7pm on 7th November US troops begin an assault on Fallujah, the stronghold of Iraqi insurgents.
On 10th November in Rome former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev presents Yusuf Islam with the Gorbachev Foundation's 'Man for Peace' award for his work as head of Small Kindness, a charity helping children in countries such as Iraq.
Yasser Arafat dies in a hospital near Paris on 11th November, aged 75. He is buried in Ramallah the next day.
Michael Martin, the Speaker of the Commons, invokes the Parliament Act on 18th November, in order to send the Hunting Bill for Royal Ascent.
On 23rd November, following his defeat in elections condemned as fraudulent, Viktor Yushchenko declares himself President of the Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of his supporters gather on the streets of Kiev, many of them waving orange party banners. In response to the 'Orange Revolution' the Supreme Court orders a re-run of the election.
The ballerina Dame Alicia Markova dies in Bath on 2nd December, a day after her 94th birthday.
On 10th December the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is cleared on charges of corruption after a trial lasting more than four years.
The former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is placed under house arrest on 13th December after a judge in Santiago ruled that he was mentally fit to stand trial.
Waxwork figures of David and Victoria Beckham dressed as Joseph and Mary are removed from Madame Tussaud's in London, after they are damaged by a member of the public.
The Millau Viaduct, the highest and heaviest bridge ever built, is opened by the French President, Jacques Chirac, on 14th December.
David Blunkett resigns as Home Secretary on 15th December over allegations that he helped the nanny of his former lover, Kimberley Quinn, to obtain a visa. He is replaced by Charles Clarke.
On 26th December an undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra (the world's biggest earthquake in 40 years) triggers a tsunami, which devastates coastlines around the Indian Ocean.
Viktor Yushchenko wins the rerun of the Ukrainian Presidential elections.
|In the Charts
|UK Chart débuts
- James Fox
- The Killers
- Brian McFadden
- Maroon 5
- Michelle McManus
- Sam and Mark
- Scissor Sisters
- The Zutons
|UK Best-selling Singles
Left Outside Alone
- Peter André
- Band Aid 20
Do They Know It's Christmas?
- Victoria Beckham
- Natasha Bedingfield
- Emma Bunton
I'll Be There
Thunderbirds / 3AM
- Destiny's Child
Lose My Breath
- DJ Casper
Cha Cha Slide
F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)
Just Lose It
- Agnetha Fältskog
If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind
- The Farm
featuring SFX Boys Choir
All Together Now
On My Knees
Come On England
- Fountains Of Wayne
- James Fox
Hold Onto Our Love
[Eurovision Song Contest:
F.U.R.B. (F U Right Back)
- Girls Aloud
I'll Stand By You
- Green Day
- Alistair Griffen
Bring It On
- Geri Halliwell
Somewhere Only We Know
- Ronan Keating
I Hope You Dance
- Ronan Keating / Yusuf
Father and Son
- Brian McFadden
- Brian McFadden
Real To Me
5 Colours In Her Hair
- George Michael
- George Michael
Flawless (Go To The City)
All This Time
- Kylie Minogue
I Believe In You
- Kylie Minogue
Red Blooded Woman
First Of The Gang To Die
My Place / Flap Your Wings
- Pet Shop Boys
- Eric Prydz
Call On We
- Lou Reed
Satellite Of Love
Leaving New York
- Sam and Mark
With A Little Help From My Friends
- Scissor Sisters
Take Your Mama
- Britney Spears
- Britney Spears
- Rachel Stevens
More More More
- Rachel Stevens
- The Streets
Dry Your Eyes
- Luther Vandross
Dance With My Father
- Robbie Williams
- Robbie Williams
- Will Young
- Will Young
- Beautiful South
Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs
- Mary Chapin Carpenter
Between Here and Gone
- The Corrs
- Rodney Crowell
Fate's Right Hand
- Divine Comedy
- Nick Drake
Made To Love Magic
- Agnetha Fältskog
My Colouring Book
- Sheila Ferguson
A New Kind Of Medicine
- Green Day
- Bruce Hornsby
- Janis Ian
- Elton John
- Norah Jones
Feels Like Home
Hopes and Fears
- The Killers
- Diana Krall
The Girl In The Other Room
- Alison Krauss and Union Station
Lonely Runs Both Ways
- k.d. lang
Hymns of the 49th Parallel
- George Michael
- Kylie Minogue
You Are The Quarry
- Gretchen Peters
- The Prodigy
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
Around The Sun
- Cliff Richard
Something's Goin' On
- Lionel Ritchie
Just For You
- Todd Rundgren
- Simon & Garfunkel
Old Friends Live On Stage
- Patti Smith
How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
- Various Artists
Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs Of Warren Zevon
- Robbie Williams
- Brian Wilson
Gettin' In Over My Head
|At the Movies
- Ae Fond Kiss
- The Aviator
- Bad Santa
- Beyond The Sea
- Bon Voyage
- Bride and Prejudice
- Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason
- Connie and Carla
- Fahrenheit 9/11
- Finding Neverland
- Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban
- House Of Sand And Fog
- I, Robot
- The Incredibles
- Inside I'm Dancing
- Kill Bill
- Ladies In Lavender
- Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
- The Manchurian Candidate
- A Mighty Wind
- The Motorcycle Diaries
- The Passion Of The Christ
- The Phantom Of The Opera
- School Of Rock
- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
- Shaun Of The Dead
- Shrek 2
- Something's Gotta Give
- Spider-Man 2
- Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring
- Stage Beauty
- Starsky And Hutch
- Super Size Me
- The Stepford Wives
- The Terminal
Tony Award for Best Musical:
Olivier Award for
Best New Musical:
- Big Brother 5
- The Catherine Tate Show
- The Culture Show
- Doctor Who
- Hell's Kitchen
- Himalaya With Michael Palin
- I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here (Series 3 and 4)
- Jack Dee Live At The Apollo
- Life Begins
- Little Britain
- Parkinson (ITV)
- Queer Eye For The Straight Guy
- Sex In The City
- Shameless (Series 1)
- Spooks (Series 3)
- Strictly Come Dancing
(Series 1 and 2)
- Tabloid Tales
- The Two Ronnies' Sketchbook
- The X Factor (Series 1)
of the Year:
Tennis: Justine Henin-Hardenne beats Kim Clijsters in the women's singles final at the Australian Open (6-3, 4-6, 6-3).
Roger Federer beats Marat Safin in the men's singles final (7-6, 6-4, 6-2).
At the French Open Anastasia Myskina becomes the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title, beating her compatriot Elena Dementieva in the final, 6-1, 6-2.
In the men's singles, the tournament favourite, Guillermo Coria, loses to fellow-Argentinian Gaston Gaudio, 0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6.
At Wimbledon Maria Sharapova becomes the second Russian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. She destroys Serena Williams in the final, 6-1, 6-4. Roger Federer retains his men's singles title, beating Andy Roddick in the final, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4.
The US Open brings Federer his third Grand Slam title of the year. He overwhelms Lleyton Hewitt in the men's final 6-0, 7-6, 6-0. As in Paris, the women's final is an all-Russian affair, with Elena Dementieva losing again, this time to the nineteen-year-old Svetlana Kuznetsova (6-3, 7-5).
Sailing: Francis Joyon completes his solo voyage around the world, having sailed 26,000 miles in a world record time of 73 days, 20 days inside the old record.
Boxing: world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis announces his retirement on 6th February.
Snooker: Paul Hunter beats Ronnie O'Sullivan to win the UK Masters, repeating the 10-9 scoreline he achieved against Feargal O'Brien in 2001 and against Mark Williams in 2002.
At the world championships, however, O'Sullivan is unbeatable. In his semi-final match he scores an emphatic 17-4 win over the seven-times champion, Stephen Hendry, following it with an 18-8 victory over Graeme Dott in the final,
Stephen Maguire wins the UK Championship in November, scoring a 10-1 victory over David Gray in the final.
Horse Racing: Amberleigh House wins the Grand National, providing trainer Donald McCain with his fourth National victory (the previous three all came courtesy of the legendary Red Rum).
On 5th June Kieren Fallon wins the 225th Derby riding North Light. Earlier in the year Fallon had been banned from riding by the Jockey Club for 21 days for failing to ride a horse out to the finish line. On 1st September he is arrested, along with 15 others, by police investigating alleged corruption and race-fixing.
Papineau, ridden by Frankie Dettori, wins the Ascot Gold Cup.
Rugby Union: France win the Six Nations championship. Ireland win the Triple Crown.
In September Sir Clive Woodward resigns as the England coach.
Football: Manchester United beat Arsenal 1-0 in the semi-final of the FA Cup. United go on to beat Millwall 3-0 in the final.
Arsenal win the FA Premiership, ending the season unbeaten in all their Premier league matches.
At Euro 2004 the host nation Portugal is defeated 1-0 in the final by Greece
On 31st August, in deal worth £27 million, the 18-year-old England striker Wayne Rooney transfers from Everton to Manchester United. In his début match for United on 28th September, Rooney scores a hat-trick against Fenerbahce.
Cricket: England beat the West Indies in a Test series in the Caribbean for the first time in 36 years. Michael Vaughan, the England captain, comments: "This achievement we have achieved is a great achievement." In the 4th and final Test match Brian Lara of the West Indies strikes back, becoming the first player in Test history to score 400 runs in a single inning.
The England team is also successful at home, winning the Summer Test series against New Zealand in May and June (3-0) and winning again against the West Indies in July and August (4-0). In September, however, the West Indies beat England in the final of the ICC Champions' Trophy at the Oval.
Golf: Phil Mikelson wins the US Masters and is the runner-up to Retief Goosen at the US Open. At the British Open at Royal Troon Mickelson finishes third behind Ernie Els, who loses in a four-hole play-off to Todd Hamilton.
Vijay Singh wins the US PGA Championship and takes over from Tiger Woods as the world No. 1, after beating him in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston in September.
Later the same month Europe win the Ryder Cup at the Oakland Hill Country Club, Michigan, beating the United States by nine points. Colin Montgomerie sinks the winning putt to give the European team victory.
Cycling: Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France for a record sixth time.
Olympics: US swimmer Michael Phelps wins six gold medals, one shy of the record set by Mark Spitz in 1972.
German canoeist Birgit Fischer wins her eighth gold medal, 24 years after winning her first.
British rower Matthew Pinsent wins his fourth gold medal in the final of the men's coxless fours.
Having spent much of her career as an "also ran", British athlete Kelly Homes returns from the Games with two gold medals, winning both the women's 800 metres and the women's 1,500 metres finals.
Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco wins gold in the men's 1,500 metres and the men's 5,000 metres.
Paula Radcliffe, who had been expected to win the women's marathon fails to finish the race and also drops out of the 10,000 metres. She makes a winning return to athletics on 7th November, with victory in the New York City Marathon.
Motor Racing: second place in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francochamps is enough for Michael Schumacher to win the Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship for the seventh time.
His Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello wins the first-ever Chinese Grand Prix to secure second place in the drivers' championship.
Baseball: the Boston Red Sox win the World Series title for the first time since 1918.
Man Booker Prize
The Line Of Beauty
The Electric Michelangelo
I'll Go To Bed At Noon